Involvement of the public representatives at all levels whether they be pradhans, ward members, MLAs and MPs will enhance the outreach and effectiveness of the National Health Mission (NHM). The Union Health Minister J P Nadda stated this at the 8th Common Review Mission of the National Health Mission, here today. The people’s representatives will not only bring their experience and knowledge from the ground level to the programmes, but will also ensure in creating effective accountability structures, he added.
Addressing the health officials from 15 states along with representatives from donor partners, health experts and NGOs who were present for the CRM, the Health Minister pointed out that it was important for the officers to personally go on field visits to gather first-hand information on the implementation of the programmes under the NHM. This has the potential to surpass the effectiveness of several printed reports and can make substantial difference, he added. The Health Minister also mentioned that fund utilization by the states should be outcome oriented. This will help in optimum utilization of the allocated funds. The outcomes at the mirco-level need to be correlated to the funds utilised, he stated.
Nadda pointed out that in keeping with the Prime Minister’s vision of Swachch Bharat, hospitals should also ensure that cleanliness is part of their core activities. He stressed on the importance of active involvement of the people visiting the hospitals, NGOs and people’s representatives in sensitising the people towards this aim.
The Health Minister stated that the NHM has resulted in decentralisation of power, planning, procurement and implementation of result oriented health programmes that have strengthened the health care systems and infrastructure at the state level.
The Minister stated that the annual Common Review Mission is an important monitoring and learning mechanism of NHM. These annual Missions provide an opportunity to review the progress made under the NHM against set goals and objectives and assess its impact on accessibility, equity, affordability and quality of health care services. The CRMs are oriented to assess the progress, identify the gaps and ascertain its reasons and propose appropriate solutions. Seven Common Review Missions (CRMs) undertaken so far have provided valuable understanding of the strategies which were successful and have led to several significant mid-course policy adjustments, he stated.
The CRM teams (each consisting of about 15-16 members) visited 15 states/UTs including nine high burden states between Nov 7-14, 2014. Total of 259 health professionals including officers from the Health Ministry, representatives from donor partners, NGOs and health experts have conducted intensive consultations with the states during the visits. The terms of reference include service delivery; quality assurance; RMNCH+A; human resources; community processes; information and knowledge; healthcare financing; procurement of drugs, diagnostics and supply chain management; NUHM; and governance and management. The CRM report spans all aspects of health system reform and uses a mix of methods- including secondary data review, rapid assessment of facilities, and implementer and beneficiary perspectives.
The states/UTs present at the CRM included Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chattisgarh, Kerala, MP, Mizoram, Odisha, Telangana, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.